Kasich should do more to get in touch with his McKees Rocks roots

Kasich should do more to get in touch with his McKees Rocks roots

Last Tuesday Gov. John Kasich made his fifth trip to the Mahoning Valley since becoming the state’s chief executive. There is nothing unusual about the governor visiting the Valley other than the fact that this was an unannounced visit. The usual procedure for a visit by the governor is that the local media is notified one or two days prior to the visit in order that the proper preparations can be made.

Gov. Kasich’s spokesman Rob Nichols said, “Not everything is a media event.” Well from my perspective I found the entire visit very peculiar. It wasn’t a media event but he did a live interview on 570 WKBN prior to his local visits at V&M Star and Delphi in Howland. He also found time to sit down with a local TV anchor and do an exclusive interview from which portions were aired over several nightly news casts. It is interesting that The Vindicator attempted to get an interview with the governor but was denied. Unfortunately, the general public was not informed of the visit and only the selected few had any true access to the governor.

Gov. Kasich snuck into our backyard on Tuesday and only talked and met with hand selected media and folks he wanted to talk to. He said, “I’ve been to the Valley a bunch of times” and I think he vividly remembers his visit to the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport in Vienna earlier this year where hundreds of Valley residents stood in the cold, loudly expressing their displeasure as the governor spoke inside to the area chamber of commerce.

So, in a typical Fox News approach, he spoke to only select individuals and played all us common folks as fools. It wasn’t a media event but he got the media he needed. He patted a few business folks on the back and said, ’”We want to do anything we can to help you folks at V&M.”

This is the same guy that that blasted Gov. Ted Strickland for taking the stimulus money from Washington. I guess he didn’t know that the V&M project received a $20 million grant of stimulus funding to enhance our area’s chance of securing the project.

While visiting the Valley, Kasich is fond of saying, “I am from McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania,” suggesting that this wonderful western Pennsylvania middle class community helps him identify with the Mahoning Valley. Don’t fool yourself, Gov. Kasich. We of the Mahoning Valley understand your game. The next time you visit us, why not hold an open forum and talk with my constituents?

They resent an aloof and dogmatic approach to governance. What the folks of the Valley want to see is the John Kasich who was that kid from McKees Rocks, Pa.

Ronald V. Gerberry, Austintown

The writer is the Democratic representative of the 59th Ohio House District.